it's always day 1

Posted By: Damian Kavanagh Beyond Ordinary,
May 1 was Day 1. We walked down the Embarcadero in San Francisco to the IDEO office complex at Pier 28, taking in the morning and being passed by cyclists, skaters, runners, and those moving with greater urgency. The twelve schools that participated in the cohort group for the MISBO + IDEO Project would meet to soak in the IDEO culture, present on their projects, and receive consultations from IDEO team members. The weather was perfect. The view of the bay was exquisite. The engagement with educational leaders and a world class design firm was exceptional. I was privileged to be a part of it. How do you top that?
Throughout early May, I participated in the MISBO staff’s professional growth cycle by listening in on presentations of their goals for the year. This included a glance backwards to what was accomplished and what was still in progress from the previous cycle. They all possess a deep understanding of the mission and values of MISBO and an iron commitment to independent schools and to the individuals who enrich learning in those schools. Functional leadership is about process; transformational leadership is about people – I am honored to be working alongside these remarkable individuals who will lead me as much as I will lead them. How do you top that?

I have had numerous learning and growth opportunities recently that have invigorated me. The very successful MISBO Human Resources Intensive, beautifully hosted at Woodward Academy, drew more than 50 dedicated individuals who heard the latest trends, participated in breakout sessions and mentoring groups, and engaged with Yale University’s Director of the Center for Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Marc Brackett. I was with the excellent educators at the Atlanta International School for a workshop on intentional meeting planning strategies to encourage both measurable accountability and shared leadership; The Children’s School to help facilitate the Master Class in Inclusive Leadership; Kenston Forest School to lead a two-day board retreat; and Mount Paran Christian School to shadow and absorb everything I could (thank you for your patience with me!). From these experiences, I took away much more than I brought. How do you top that?

The MISBO search committee and board gave me one of the most cherished gifts there is: the gift of time. Marc Levinson and I have overlapped for the past two months, which has allowed me to observe and learn and grow prior to being thrown into the deep end. I am personally and professionally glad that Marc will remain on through October to navigate fiscal year-end processes and the 2017 MISBO Fall Conference, which is a one-of-a-kind offering of deep-dive workshops into the areas that matter most for school operations and school transformations. How do you top that?

Jeff Bezos has been in the news this summer for Amazon’s enormous purchase of Whole Foods, but he was in the news in April describing his “Day 1” mentality. The potential of the day stretches out in front and imbues decisions with the mindset that the day you plan for is the day in front of you. He has sparked a culture of resilient creativity and restless innovation that calls on his community to approach everything they do with fresh eyes, attentive ears, and open hearts. How do you top that? Not with day 2, of which he says, “Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline.” I enjoyed a Day 1 today and will enjoy another tomorrow. I hope that you fill your summer with many opportunities to celebrate your own Day 1.